Thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District teachers—more than 30,000—walked off the job in mid-January. It is the first strike since 1989 for the country’s second largest school district, which includes more than 900 schools.
Teachers union President Alex Caputo-Pearl says the teachers are in “a battle for the soul of public education” with private charter schools bleeding funds away from public schools. Among the teachers’ demands over the two years of negotiations have been reduced class size; staffing nurses, counselors, and librarians; and teacher pay raises.
“The question is,” says Caputo-Pearl, “do we starve our public neighborhood schools so they (become) privatized, or do we re-invest in our public neighborhood schools for our students and for a thriving city?”